Charlotte Embry

Charlotte Embry

Modified & Updated: 24 Aug 2023


May 18th holds significant importance as it has been witness to numerous noteworthy events and historical milestones throughout the years. From major breakthroughs in science and technology to momentous political and cultural events, this date is etched in the annals of history. Exploring the events that unfolded on May 18th provides us with a deeper understanding of our shared past and allows us to appreciate the progress and achievements of humanity. In this article, we will delve into the remarkable occurrences that took place on this very day, covering a wide range of topics and shedding light on the impact they had on shaping our world today. So, join us as we uncover the fascinating facts and events that unfolded on May 18th in history.

Table of Contents


  • 1812: The Battle of Las Piedras takes place, marking a decisive victory for the revolutionaries in Uruguay.
  • 1896: The U.S. Supreme Court delivers its landmark decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, upholding racial segregation in public facilities.
  • 1944: The Soviet Union begins the forced deportation of the Crimean Tatars from the Crimean Peninsula.
  • 1980: Mount St. Helens in Washington State, USA, erupts, resulting in the deadliest volcanic event in the history of the United States.
  • 1993: The final episode of the television series “Cheers” airs, concluding an eleven-season run.


  • 1920: Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, awards British bacteriologist Frederick Hopkins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of essential amino acids.
  • 1956: The first successful use of a vaccine against polio is announced by Dr. Jonas Salk in the United States.
  • 1973: The Skylab space station is launched into orbit by NASA, beginning a series of manned missions that contribute important scientific research.
  • 1983: The discovery of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is announced by a team of researchers led by Dr. Luc Montagnier in France.
  • 1998: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launches the Deep Space 1 spacecraft, the first in a series of missions to test new technologies for future space exploration.


  • 1804: Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed as Emperor of the French, establishing the First French Empire.
  • 1953: Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier in an aircraft.
  • 1974: India becomes the sixth country to successfully develop and test a nuclear weapon.
  • 1998: The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland, paving the way for peace and political stability in the region.
  • 2012: François Hollande is inaugurated as the 24th President of France.


  • 1843: The opera “La traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi premieres at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy.
  • 1927: The first long-distance solo flight from New York to Paris is completed by aviator Charles Lindbergh.
  • 1968: The Beatles begin recording their iconic double album “The White Album” at Abbey Road Studios in London, England.
  • 1980: The movie “The Empire Strikes Back,” the second installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, is released in theaters.
  • 1998: The Broadway musical “The Lion King” opens at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City.


  • 1920: Pope John Paul II, Polish religious leader and the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.
  • 1952: George Strait, American country music singer, songwriter, and actor.
  • 1970: Tina Fey, American comedian, writer, producer, and actress.
  • 1982: Luisana Lopilato, Argentine actress, and model.
  • 1990: Luke Kleintank, American actor.


  • 1765: Francisco José Freire, Portuguese historian and journalist.
  • 1949: Klaus Mann, German writer and journalist.
  • 1980: Ian Curtis, English singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the lead vocalist of the band Joy Division.
  • 1995: Elizabeth Montgomery, American actress, and producer, famous for her role as Samantha Stephens in the television series “Bewitched.”
  • 2017: Chris Cornell, American musician, singer, and songwriter, known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave.


May 18th has been a significant day throughout history, witnessing various historical events, scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, as well as notable births and deaths. From decisive battles to groundbreaking discoveries, from political movements to iconic cultural moments, May 18th holds a place in shaping our world. It serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of our past and the impact of significant individuals and events on society.


Q: Are there any famous people born on May 18th?

A: Yes, some notable individuals born on May 18th include Pope John Paul II, George Strait, Tina Fey, Luisana Lopilato, and Luke Kleintank.

Q: What are some significant historical events that took place on May 18th?

A: May 18th witnessed events such as the Battle of Las Piedras in 1812, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, and the final episode of the television series “Cheers” in 1993, among others.

Q: Are there any scientific breakthroughs associated with May 18th?

A: Yes, on May 18th, significant scientific breakthroughs include the announcement of the HIV discovery in 1983, the successful launch of the Skylab space station in 1973, and the announcement of the first successful vaccine against polio in 1956.

Q: Have any notable political milestones occurred on May 18th?

A: Yes, political milestones on May 18th include Napoleon Bonaparte becoming Emperor of the French in 1804, Jacqueline Cochran becoming the first woman to break the sound barrier in 1953, and the acceptance of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998.

Q: Were there any significant cultural events on May 18th?

A: Yes, some cultural events on May 18th include the premiere of the opera “La traviata” in 1843, the completion of Charles Lindbergh’s long-distance solo flight from New York to Paris in 1927, and the release of “The Empire Strikes Back” movie in 1980.